A new year is upon us and Spring Training is right around the corner. Despite not even seeing a pitch thrown this year, we can figure the NL West to be a three-horse race once again in 2013. San Francisco will attempt to defend their division title and the Dodgers look to have only gotten stronger. The third team in the race is the Arizona Diamondbacks. The only move the Rockies have made is hiring an unproven manager and the Padres are once again…the Padres. It seems like every year, the Snakes are surrounded by sense of excitement and anticipation. This year is no different.
The bullpen seems to have really taken shape this off-season due to acquisitions like Heath Bell. In recent years, the D’backs bullpen has been among the least consistent in the league. The fact that closing out games is less of an issue this year should get Diamondbacks fans excited for what is in store when J.J. Putz and Bell enter games. Arizona also seems to have a strong rotation heading into the season, a rotation that will only get stronger with the return of Daniel Hudson from injury in July. As of late, the D’backs rotation has had a very young feel, but with the departure of pitcher Trevor Bauer and the addition of veteran Brandon McCarthy, the rotation is now more experienced. Trevor Cahill and Ian Kennedy will lead a staff that can possibly turn heads again this season.
We all know that the coaching staff is a strong one. No shortage of experience there, but Kirk Gibson will be the first to tell you that some decisions last year were not handled flawlessly. Now, during the off-season, is a great time for the coaches in the Arizona dugout to really start meshing and understand their certain roles. If everyone can mesh and communicate as a coaching staff, things should and probably will, run more smoothly for the Diamondbacks in 2013.
Offense shouldn’t be an issue for Arizona again this year. Take a glance at the D’backs possible roster and you will see the potential combination of speed, athleticism, power and run production. If anything is carved in stone this year in the desert, it’s that the Diamondbacks will hit and produce. Does this equation equal wins? I think so.
In my opinion, Arizona looks to be able to compete for a division title in 2013. At this point in the year, I would still call the NL West the Giants division to lose, but if Arizona can handle its own business and really establish its identity early in the year, things could be pretty fun come September and October.